Breaking Down the DOL’s Final Fiduciary Rule

On April 6, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its final rule that redefines who is considered a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code. The final rule focuses on...

SBA Lauds Local Lending Institutions

A local financial institution is among the winners of the U.S. Small Business Administration lenders awards for fiscal 2016. The SBA District Director’s Award was given to Northern Initiatives, a nonprofit Community Development Finance Institution that provides loans to small business owners and entrepreneurs in...

The Tax Implications of Short-Term Rentals

Beautiful northern Michigan! Lovely surroundings, increased tourism and the proliferation of web sites such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway have led to a boom in short-term rentals in northern Michigan. What, if any, are the tax implications of a short-term rental? The answer depends on a...

Credit Unions Experience Growth, But See Issues

Executives worry about rising interest rates, regulations and more Local credit unions continue to prosper in a strong economy, but face a variety of challenges that include burdensome regulations, rising interest rates and adjusting to changes in the market for financial services. Credit union executives also are...

The State of Credit for Business

From 2008 through 2011 a common theme was “none of the banks are lending.” For many business owners in Michigan this was a true statement. Mega-banks, large regional banks, and many longtime community financial institutions tightened their purse strings, stopped lending, and in some cases...

TC Banking Market Growing, Hotly Competitive

Banks seem to hook up with new partners faster than Hollywood celebrities, changing their names and often confusing their customers who feel they’re already dealing with enough financial upheaval in their lives. But most of the major players in the local banking market have been around...

SBA Lending Eases as Economy Expands

Loan volume in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flagship loan guarantee program has tailed off locally in the past several years, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Lenders generated $13.6 million in U.S. SBA-guaranteed loans in Grand Traverse County in the fiscal year ending Sept....